Relationships: Godly? Or Just Rules?

Relationships: Godly? Or Just Rules?

A review of Christian relationships in today's society.
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I recently watched the movie, "Old Fashioned" with a couple friends of mine. As we watched this movie, we went on the emotional roller coaster with the characters, experiencing a beautiful faith-based romance that we thoroughly enjoyed in the moments. We became enthralled with the movie, fell in love with the characters and cried at the moments that deserved tears, freaking out like normal girls at a romantic movie. However, when the movie was over and when we had finished our reminiscing over the parts that we liked, we got to really talking and we realized just how much discussion this movie could bring about.

Within the film, the main character, Clay, is looking to form a godly relationship. He claims that dating isn't really useful and he has basically secluded himself in his antique shop in a small town, living with his great aunt and helping her out with what needs to be done. He is, in general, a "good" person, doing good deeds and respecting women and others as much as he possibly can. Then he meets a young woman named Amber. This woman goes wherever the wind takes her. As soon as she gets enough money to afford gas, she drives away as far as she can, running away from her problems and "chasing after the warm and fuzzies." These two get to know each other and they start going out. Eventually they realize that they love each other, and the rest is probably obvious, because it is a romance movie.

In all of this, the film makes a good story. But I want to look at their relationship in more detail and discuss more of the "godliness" of their relationship. Clay claimed to be a Christian, but he didn't go to church because he got tired of the hypocrites there. Amber hadn't grasped faith yet. In the movie, they only go to church together once, and that is because Clay's great aunt practically drags them there. Their relationship was chaste. They didn't cheat on each other, though the temptations may have arisen once or twice. They remained loyal to one another, and they are very respectful towards one another. Clay reserves the first kiss for marriage. He is extremely respectful towards women, to the point where he seems somewhat high-and-mighty, working to gain a second chance after his past.

Now that I've described some of their relationship, I want to discuss my thoughts on it. Though it was a very respectful relationship, I do not believe that it was necessarily a godly relationship. In a godly relationship, there is more than just being respectful and having a lot of rules smashed into a dating relationship. To have a truly godly relationship, there must be a leading aspect. The man, or whoever is stronger in their faith, should lead the other in their faith. They should continually point them to Scripture and prayer, pointing them to God rather than themselves. They should be praying for and with each other. Clay claimed to be against dating, because he said that dating did not really lead to a godly relationship, but in the movie, he went against this view. His relationship looked a whole lot like a normal dating relationship but with more rules slapped onto it.

Yes, remaining chaste and loyal is part of a godly relationship. Yes, respecting the honor of a woman is all well and good, however, while a relationship "isn't all about the warm and fuzzies" (to quote Clay), a relationship "isn't all about rules either" (to quote Amber.) I do not think the movie truly accomplished what it was trying to accomplish. Though I enjoyed this film a great deal, I found it lacking. This lack, however, is not necessarily a bad thing. It is something that can lead to discussion and help people delve deeper into what a godly relationship truly is. I do recommend that people watch this film and then discuss it among their friends and families.

While you watch this film, ask yourself this question. Are your relationships godly, or did you simply slap some nice rules onto them?

Cover Image Credit: Examiner

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A Letter To My Humans On Our Last Day Together

We never thought this day would come.
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I didn't sleep much last night after I saw your tears. I would have gotten up to snuggle you, but I am just too weak. We both know my time with you is coming close to its end, and I just can't believe it how fast it has happened.

I remember the first time I saw you like it was yesterday.

You guys were squealing and jumping all around, because you were going home with a new dog. Dad, I can still feel your strong hands lifting me from the crate where the rest of my puppy brothers and sisters were snuggled around my warm, comforting puppy Momma. You held me up so that my chunky belly and floppy wrinkles squished my face together, and looked me right in the eyes, grinning, “She's the one."

I was so nervous on the way to my new home, I really didn't know what to expect.

But now, 12 years later as I sit in the sun on the front porch, trying to keep my wise, old eyes open, I am so grateful for you. We have been through it all together.

Twelve “First Days of School." Losing your first teeth. Watching Mom hang great tests on the refrigerator. Letting you guys use my fur as a tissue for your tears. Sneaking Halloween candy from your pillowcases.

Keeping quiet while Santa put your gifts under the tree each year. Never telling Mom and Dad when everyone started sneaking around. Being at the door to greet you no matter how long you were gone. Getting to be in senior pictures. Waking you up with big, sloppy kisses despite the sun not even being up.

Always going to the basement first, to make sure there wasn't anything scary. Catching your first fish. First dates. Every birthday. Prom pictures. Happily watching dad as he taught the boys how to throw every kind of ball. Chasing the sticks you threw, even though it got harder over the years.

Cuddling every time any of you weren't feeling well. Running in the sprinkler all summer long. Claiming the title “Shotgun Rider" when you guys finally learned how to drive. Watching you cry in mom and dads arms before your graduation. Feeling lost every time you went on vacation without me.

Witnessing the awkward years that you magically all overcame. Hearing my siblings learn to read. Comforting you when you lost grandma and grandpa. Listening to your phone conversations. Celebrating new jobs. Licking your scraped knees when you would fall.

Hearing your shower singing. Sidewalk chalk and bubbles in the sun. New pets. Family reunions. Sleepovers. Watching you wave goodbye to me as the jam-packed car sped up the driveway to drop you off at college. So many memories in what feels like so little time.

When the time comes today, we will all be crying. We won't want to say goodbye. My eyes might look glossy, but just know that I feel your love and I see you hugging each other. I love that, I love when we are all together.

I want you to remember the times we shared, every milestone that I got to be a part of.

I won't be waiting for you at the door anymore and my fur will slowly stop covering your clothes. It will be different, and the house will feel empty. But I will be there in spirit.

No matter how bad of a game you played, how terrible your work day was, how ugly your outfit is, how bad you smell, how much money you have, I could go on; I will always love you just the way you are. You cared for me and I cared for you. We are companions, partners in crime.

To you, I was simply a part of your life, but to me, you were my entire life.

Thank you for letting me grow up with you.

Love always,

Your family dog

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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Newsflash! It's Time For Everybody To Love Everybody

Come on, people, get it together.

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I, personally, think it's time for everybody to just start loving each other. Now listen, this doesn't mean you need to actually love everyone, but at least accept them. Acceptance is the closest thing we are gonna get to loving each other.

Let me tell you a little something: politics at the moment are very messy. No matter which side it is, it's messy. There is no denying that. If you try to deny that, then good for you, you're not helping anybody. If you really want some change, you need to start being the bigger person. Change isn't about who can yell about something louder or who has the "better" argument, it's about being respectful.

Just because someone has an opposing view does not mean you need to yell at them. Does yelling solve anything ever? Maybe temporarily, like for 2 minutes, but that's about as long as you're gonna get. There's absolutely no need to indirectly say something about certain individuals on social media. Yes, there is freedom of speech, but everybody should keep in mind why they have that right and why they still have it.

I do not understand why it is so hard to be respectful of one another. If someone goes after another person talking about how absolutely terrible it is of them thinking something should be illegal, the person who's being yelled at should respectfully ignore the other individual's disrespectful remarks. If the individual does not stop, then they are not aware that they are making no difference in the world.

What I'm trying to get at here is that in order to love each other, we really need to accept all our differences. If we really want change we need to go right to the sources, not just yell at each other from across the street. If everyone learned to accept each other, life would be a whole lot easier. Is this ever going to happen? Of course not. This is the solution though, whether you think so or not.

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